New Releases: Camila Cabello amps up tempo on second album

By MIK DAVIS,

For her second record, Camila Cabello steps further away from her Fifth Harmony identity to balance danceable Pop (both the American EDM-based and the chugging Latin grooves that correspond with her Cuban heritage) and a new edgy midtempo ballad sensibility.

"Living Proof" showcases her highest registers while sounding more like FKAtwigs than the previous Pop princesses.

"Liar" amps up the South American/Caribbean to try to best her massive hit "Havana." Oh, and she put "Senorita" on here.

CAMILA CABELLO

Romance

(CD) (Sony)

THE WHO

Who

(LP/CD) (UMe)

Down to just Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend, "Who" is the pair write like grumpy old men. As surprising as it is to hear the group that once professed they hope they died before they got old, "All This Music Must Fade" smacks of "Face Dances"-era Who. A little later they proclaim "I Don't Want To Be Wise" over crisp harmonies and jangly guitars, but smartly twist their past to reflect that their success rose from lot of mistakes. While we are certainly still happy to have them around, this one remains a curiosity.

LAFAYETTE HARRIS JR.

You Can’t Lose With the Blues

(CD) (Savant)

Baltimore pianist Harris has a gentle touch with the piano a la Bill Evans. Backed by the fantastic rhythm section of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash, Harris provides deft interpretations of the standards with hints of Monk, Tyner and Duke. His Stride-ish trilling and octave work on "Wonder Why" are wonderful (then made even better by how well he holds down the track while Washington solos.) 

BUDDY RICH

Just In Time: The Final Recording

(CD) (Gearbox)

Buddy Rich was always a force of nature. Born into a family of vaudevillians, Rich grew up on the stage. His fearlessness shows through his entire career. From backing Charlie Parker to the big bands he led toward the end of his life, Rich never held back. "Just in Time" was recorded in 1986 at Ronnie Scott's in England with a road band that while beat from touring responded to Rich's every beck and call. "Just in Time" features Rich's playing driving this group through modern Big Band music with fury.  While playing this fiery set, it is clear that Rich had no idea this would be his final bow before an audience (he passed away April 1987,) as he played every gig since he was three - like it was his last. 

MILK CARTON KIDS

Only Ones

(10”/LP) (MCK)

The duo of Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale have earned fans all over the world with their tight harmonies and pensive writing. This EP regales in the guitars and voices of their early recordings. The jaunty title cut and haunting "I Meant Every Word I Said" are another pair of standout songs in a career brimming over with them.


REISSUES

CABARET VOLTAIRE

Methodology: The Attic Tapes

(LP) (Mute)

In 1973, Richard H.Kirk, Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson were less inspired by the Rock of their day. So they moved to create a desolate, dark music with the only machines they could find – tape recorders. Using the barest technology, they nursed their songs along through numerous recordings collected here.

The main tracks of "Nag Nag Nag," "Do The Mussolini (Headkick)," "The Set Up" and "No Escape" would emerge from their live shows starting in 1975. As their performances became more confident, so did their home recordings leading to their signing with Rough Trade in 1978. "Methodology" makes the case that Cabaret Voltaire was Punk before their was Punk, as important to Industrial as Throbbing Gristle and even a potential hit maker. 

GAS

Pop

(LP) (Kompakt GER)

Ambient music is generally either too atmospheric leaving you with that sleepy feeling or too beat-driven leaving you with a House music hangover. Wolfgang Voigt was a game changer. As "Gas" (and other monikers,) Voigt relaxed his Techno roots to create a dense, luminous and intoxicating mixture of synth sounds and light machinery to lead to a dreamland while staying awake. "Pop" is his fourth album and a big breakthrough. These seven tracks (all simply named "Pop" with a number) start unassumingly enough before evolving into deep explorations of sound. Strings billow like clouds. Droning is layered to feel chordal and warm. Then with a wash of cymbals in the distance and a gurgling up front, "Pop" opens your eyes to the future when artists make loops that no longer feel like loops. Gas is Electronic music growing kaleidoscopic and multi-dimensional.

TIM BURGESS & BOB STANLEY

Tim Peaks

(CD) (ACE)

Acclaimed author and rabid record collector Tim Burgess and ace compilation builder Bob Stanley descend into the netherworld of Post-Punk to see just where it took us in the Eighties. The former Charlatan UK singer Burgess and Saint Etienne mastermind Stanley came in their fruition during this period. "Tim Peaks" is their twilight vision of mysterious music inspired by their childhood and the TV show of similar name. Once you listen, you get the rarest of Factory singles (Durutti Column's dreamy guitar instrumental,) disparate UK minimal Post-Punk both known (Young Marble Giants) and unknown (the uneasy "Yanks" by The Gist,) and pre-Electronica from Germany's Isan. A great mix for these chilly nights.

AND A HANDFUL OF SINGLES:

RENATA LU

Fax Tanto Tempo

(7”) (Mr. Bongo)

TRIO TERNURA

Vou Morar No Teu

(7”) (Mr. Bongo)

NONATO & SEU CONJUNTO

Cafua

(7”) (Mr. Bongo)

British label Mr. Bongo is a testament to committing yourself and your resources to bringing the unheard music back from obscurity. The seven-inch single could always be that method where "the song" could be delivered to you. While they are costly, when a track lights up your turntable - you want to hear it over and over. In the states, the single is fast becoming the realm of the stern punk rockers and the throwback soul groups. However, this presentation is more method than madness. Mr.Bongo imports singles from Latin America that threaten to blow the doors off of your house. The 1971 single from Renata Lu thunders like a Latin James Brown while she soulfully (yet still showy) leaves you intoxicated and bruised from dancing.  You'll need the Samba Soul of Trio Ternura to slow down. "Vou Morar No Teu Sorriso" is a blistering mix of tight drums, congas, horns and the occasionally rapidly strummed guitar. Given its Fifth Dimension-esque grooviness, you may require one more dose to satiate your newfound desire for terse Latin polyrhythms. Fortunately, the 1975 pre-Disco rumblings of Nonato & Seu Conjunto are just what you need to head back to Earth. The organ-drenched samba "Cafua" carries both that slight Reggae lilt and a hint of longing in its vocals.  Like all great singles, Mr.Bongo leaves you wanting more.

There are also new singles this week from BETTER OBLIVION COMMUNITY CENTER, SOCCER MOMMY and COLTER WALL worth looking out for.